If you own a property in a building with others, you will have heard the term ‘Management Committee’, but do you know how they work? We’ve answered some common questions about management committees to help you understand their role and what they mean for your building.
Every building may be required to have a management committee according to each state or territory’s legislation. The management committee represents the people who own lots in the building and are responsible for making decisions on their behalf. Committees play a vital role as they are the primary contact point for body corporate managers, such as Whittles, and enable you to be part of the decision-making process.
Management committees have wide-ranging responsibilities. A committee can manage and conduct business on behalf of the building where only a normal majority resolution is required. Decisions of the Committee of management are only passed by a majority vote. Matters requiring special or unanimous resolutions need to be put before all owners. These can include decisions related to amending by-laws or rules, selling common property, granting leases or licenses, spending limits and, in some states, changing the external appearance of buildings.
The key positions on a management committee include the Presiding Officer/Chairperson, Secretary and, in some states, a Treasurer. In some states, a committee can’t be formed if the required positions aren’t filled.Nomination processes vary a little from state to state.To hold one of these key positions, a person must nominate to be elected before the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and a vote determines who’s successful. Other people can nominate to join as committee members, and these positions are also decided at the AGM. In other states, persons nominate for a position on the committee and the committee then elects its office bearers.
When it comes to size, sometimes there are no minimum or maximum number of people who can sit on a management committee (unless limits are stated in the Corporation’s by-laws and the majority of owners have voted in your favour) and, in some states, there are maximum numbers prescribed. In situations where there are too many people and not enough positions, a vote decides which positions are filled.
Our offices will guide the process applicable to your state or territory.
You can be elected to a management committee if you are a lot owner or an authorised proxy for an owner. In some states for properties designated commercial (e.g. shopping centres or retail strips), a tenant can be elected to a management committee because they are an authorised building representative.
Body Corporate Managers will generally liaise with committees to review topics, supporting documents, quotes and budgets and help prepare an agenda before a meeting. A validly constructed notice of meeting and agenda will be sent to all committee members in the required time before a meeting is held. The Body Corporate Manager typically chairs meetings, but a Presiding Officer or Chairperson may also perform this role. The Secretary must record minutes of the meeting and distribute copies to all committee members and make them available for all owners. In most situations, a committee must provide a report to be discussed at the AGM. The AGM signals the start and end of a committee’s tenure, with all positions up for re-election at the end of 12 months.
There may be times when someone living in a community doesn’t agree with their management committee’s decision. The resident’s rights will depend on the extent of the problem. If they feel a decision is either unfair or unjust, the first step is to try and resolve this through consultation.
If the matter can’t be resolved through consultation, the owner will generally have rights to seek a special or extraordinary general meeting through the legislated process. In some states an owner may commence a legal action in a court or tribunal as a last resort if all other avenues to settle disputes have been exhausted.
If a tenant in a residential property within a strata community wishes to raise an issue with an owners committee, the best course of action is to contact their property manager or landlord in the first instance.
Whittles offer a range of services to help committees manage meetings. These services include assisting committees in understanding their roles and responsibilities within the legislation, preparing, and distributing meeting notes and minutes, conducting meetings, and completing post-meeting actions.
Like to know more about how Whittles can support management committees? Contact your closest Whittles branch and speak with a member of our team.
Updated: 15 Aug 2023